Archive for Social Studies

Aug
01

Summer School and More

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Unlike many families I know, including those that homeschool, we continue schooling throughout the summer.  We take plenty of breaks during the year, at our convenience, but we do school year-round.

I’ve recently added Zane Education, with *The Missing Piece (c), to our summer schedule.

 

 

Zane Education has  “the largest, and most comprehensive fully subtitled online educational video library”  compiled to accommodate the requirements of the K-12 curriculum, and aligned to National and State Standards.  There are over 1,500 videos, covering nearly 400 topics, provided with lesson plans, interactive online quizzes, and more!

 

Subjects include:

Art

Biology

Geography

Health

History

Library Skills

Literature

Mathematics

Music

Religious Studies

Science and

Social Studies

 

Research proves that *The Missing Piece (c) – using subtitles and closed captioning on video – can dramatically improve children’s reading and literacy skills.

~

Once subscribed, you can begin by selecting a subject and then a specific topic to study, according to the access you purchased.  [In our house, a Gold Membership allows me to utilize the video library for my elementary; middle and high school aged students, and continuing education for myself, at no additional cost!]  User Guides  are available and cater to your child’s specific bent.  You can also download, and even print, a Lesson Plan Guide for each video.  Zane provides a vast Video Word Glossary, and interactive study tools:  an Encyclopedia, a Dictionary, and a Thesaurus.

Click the graphic to view a FREE Educational Video of the Day

When you watch a video, you might notice a couple of the quirks that we found slightly annoying, but not distracting enough to discontinue use of the program.

  • Videos do not play full screen.  There are some courses we could work on at the same time, but the viewing screen doesn’t really accommodate more than one person at a time; so, we’re concentrating on individual lessons.
  • There are non-functional button graphics in the videos.  I believe they are part of an older system and we just made the choice to ignore them.

 

There is also quite a bit of evolutionary content in different videos, especially in the Biological Science series.  Personally, if I am made aware of such content, ahead of time, I make it part of my student’s education and address it in comparison to our new earth creationist view.  It is my personal belief and Zane’s conviction that “students should know and understand positions outside of evangelical Christianity.   We are confident that their faith will be stronger when they know both sides and understand why we believe the Biblical view of the world is correct both intellectually and spiritually.”   Zane Education not only makes one aware of the bias, they have also written a Christian Learning Guide to assist you in teaching the truth.  “Zane Education’s educational program and this document offers you and your children two critical requirements for future influence:  (1) solid grounding and factual education, and (2) a Biblical Christian perspective and application of the program.”

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This is our plan of action, for getting the most out of Zane Education:

Day 1 –

Print or Pull-from-File the Lesson Plan Guide for your assigned subject.  If not already done, put it in a clear plastic sleeve for future use.  Read.

Look up Glossary Terms ~ write summarized definition; key words, etc.

Day 2 –

Start video, pause at the beginning of each new page/frame and write down highlighted words that are not listed in your Glossary Terms, then restart video > listen carefully.

Look up words and write definitions.

Day 3 –

Play/Read video on mute.

Review words.

Day 4 –

Watch video and work on assigned Sharpen Your Skills projects.

Day 5 –

Watch video.

Take quiz.  (Note – Quizzes are marked and correct answers supplied by Zane, when needed, so that even in testing the learning process continues.)

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We found this schedule fairly intensive.  We didn’t always complete the vocabulary work on the set day, and often rolled it over to the next day, but the retention of the material has been excellent!

Many of my Crew mates made use of  Zane in an entirely different way, and it’s beneficial to read their reviews, too.  You can click the banner below to do just that.


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Monthly Subscriptions start as low as $8.99 per Subject, $12.99 per Age/Grade Level, or Full Access – All Subjects – All Videos for $17.99.

Yearly Memberships are also available, starting at $98.89 per Single Subject through the Best Value – Full Access – Gold Membership for $197.89.

~

You can contact:   Zane Education, by email ~  follow the link on their website, call ~ 1.650.488-8204, or write ~

Zane Education

2203 NE 203rd Terrace

Miami, FL  33180

Also, watch for their latest developments and new products –

Read their News Blog and follow Zane Education on facebook.

Read – What You Get with Zane


Zane Education addresses the genuine need for different learning styles, in our homes and our schools.   I encourage you to follow the links I’ve provided throughout this post, and browse their website.   You may find that it is the Visual Learning Solution for your child’s needs – whether gifted or specialized, home schooled or public schooled; Summer School, Bridge work, or Full Curriculum.

~

As a “thank you” for reading my blog, I can offer you a 35% promotional discount on the purchase of any annual subscription to Zane Education, available through August 31, 2012.  Use code ZE828HSM during checkout, to receive your discount, and leave a comment telling me which subscription you chose.  Thanks, again.

 

Blessings,

 

 

Disclaimer*   A  one year, full access, Gold Membership subscription was given to me, free of charge, in exchange for my honest review, as a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew.  I receive no other compensation for my reviews on this blog.  The opinions expressed are my own.

 

Contents of this blog are copyrighted;  they are the property of Knee Deep In Grace and may not be used without written permission.

 

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Nov
08

Clever Dragons Discount!

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Clever Dragons launches it’s smart fun for boy’s only, today!  My son has been waiting weeks for this, as I wrote in my review of a scoop of laughter, a scoop of learning, Always Icecream, for girl’s only!

I’ll be posting a review of this site, soon, but couldn’t wait to tell you that Clever Dragons is online and they are offering a discounted membership rate for a limited time only.

* Now through November 27th *

Launch Special Price

$39.99 for Lifetime Membership

No promo code needed.

Find Clever Dragons on facebook for the latest updates.

Blessings,

Clever Dragons, nor anyone affiliated with them, asked me to write this post.  I received no compensation and any expressed opinions are my own.

Thanks for your comments.  PK

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Oct
19

For Girls Only!

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Finding one’s place in a big family can sometimes be difficult.  Having something that belongs just to you or that didn’t belong to a sibling before you doesn’t happen often, but sometimes it’s nice.  It’s a little affirmation that you are one-of-a-kind and not just part of the group.   I look for ways to let my children know that I see them as individuals.

Our youngest daughter is the youngest of 11.  She loves her position, but we’ve made it a point to let her know that she wasn’t an afterthought.  She was/is wanted and she is an important part of our family.  It would be easy for everything she owns – clothes, toys, books & games – to be a hand-me-down, much is, but not all.  Truly, she probably wouldn’t even mind, but I would; so, when I recently had the opportunity to review an ad-free learning website, for girls only, I was just a wee-bit excited about the possibilities!  I wasn’t disappointed.

Always Icecream is geared for girls, ages 7-12, and it looks like it was created just for them.  It’s pink and fun, and frufru and fun, and cute & sweet and fun!  Much to my youngest son’s dismay, the website for boys only hasn’t been completed, yet, but I hear it is in the works.  If I’d allow it, he’d learn & play right alongside his sister, but since I haven’t, he can not wait for his siteWhy have a site, for girls only?  My guys and girls get along very well together.  My guys are a little more sensitive, considerate and compassionate and my girls are comfortable catching bugs and fishing, because of their interaction with each other, but it’s not that way in every home or classroom.

    • “Online games for girls are games that have been specifically designed to meet the interests and curiosity of girls. This gender-focus makes it possible that “girls can be girls” without the fear of being bothered by boys who tend to make fun of everything that girls consider “cute.”
    • “Within the target age group of 7-12 years, children’s preferences and ways in which they can be motivated tend to be influenced by gender.  Collaborative play (girls) versus competitive play (boys) and girls tend to be attracted by virtual goods that are “decorative”, such as clothes, versus “useful”, such as machines or armor.”

“Notwithstanding the differences in brain development and socialization, Always Icecream is adamantly opposed to stereotypes such as “girls are not interested in science or math.” The site challenges its young members to engage in learning activities across a broad spectrum of subjects:

Language Arts

Math (basic and advanced)

Science

Computer Skills

Geography

History

Foreign Languages

Music & Arts

and Religious Education

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I asked my daughter for her opinion of Always Icecream.  She said, and I quote:

I love it!  You get to make your own house and you get your own pet.  It’s fun!  The learning is still fun, too.  I am learning, you know.  There are so many activities, I can’t even tell you!  I’m practicing typing and I’m learning my states.  Want me to show you?  I’m getting higher and higher in my math and I got all of the Bible questions right, last time, because we had just learned about two of them in Children’s Church!  The pet world thingy-place is my favorite!  The pets can play games and do stuff.  You can buy them accessories, (yes, that’s her word.  We are big Fancy Nancy fans, but I’ll save that for another time) like a necklace or a bow.  You use your $coops to buy stuff.  ($coops is the earned currency in the Always Icecream world.)  You buy them food and feed them, like carrots for the rabbit, not bacon or dog bones, of course.  You give them cuddles and love and their hearts go up!  I already said it, I just love it!

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School time.  Learning time.

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 Play time.  Reward time.

Parental participation, behind the scenes, is encouraged.  Parents sign-up to receive a progress report, once a week, and may choose a number of $coops to be rewarded for special in-real-life projects, chores or accomplishments.  My kids are on a rotation to clean the cat’s litter box.  Our youngest was rewarded $coops for doing it without having to be reminded.  Granted, she would like to go to Dairy Queen in the future for real-world ice cream in exchange for a real-world chore, but since she usually only gets a “thank you” she thought getting $coops was actually “pretty cool.”

The girls earn $coops currency for completing their learning tasks, challenges, games & videos.  They create a mini-me avatar and can switch her clothes, buy rooms for the house and purchase furniture, pets and more.  My girl loved this!

There is also a social feature available, set up by the parent, that enables or not, the girls to “make friends” and communicate with one another safely through Always Icecream.  Although we didn’t choose to activate this feature, I do appreciate the excellent safety measures that are in place for the girls.  Click the graphic below for more information.

 

*  $4.99 per month  *  $29.99 per year  *  $99.99 for a lifetime membership  *Take a quick tour of the site and try out FREE GAMES before you buy.  “Satisfaction guaranteed: Your daughter will have fun and learn relevant skills – or you get your money back!”

 

You’ll want to read more reviews by my crew mates and their girls.  Click the TOS banner below to get the full $coop!

 

 

Contact:

website

email – feedback@always-icecream.com

or visit

facebook

 

 

Blessings to you and your girls,

 

This product was given to me, free of charge, in exchange, for my honest review, as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew. I receive no other compensation for my reviews on this blog.  The opinions expressed are my own.

 

*Contents of this blog are copyrighted;  they are the property of Knee Deep In Grace and may not be used without written permission.

 

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Sep
14

Time for Learning!

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“There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven…”  Ecclesiastes 3

Time to wake up!

image credit – Alice Lucchin

Time to sleep!

image credit – ToniVC

Time to prepare a meal and time to eat.  Time for Bible Study and a bubble bath.  Time for a picnic.  Time to visit the library.  Time for date night, family game night, movie & popcorn.  Time to do the dishes, mop the floor and walk the dog.  Time to sort, wash, dry, fold and put away mountains of laundry!  Time to multi-task and make the most of every moment.  Time to be all I can be!

image credit – fdecomite

Time for teaching and Time for Learning.

Time4Learning is an online learning program.  It’s web-based, which means there is no software to download, no CD’s to buy, and access is always available (from any PC with an internet connection.)  Therefore, it is most convenient.  Designed for grades Pre-K through 8th, as a complete curriculum or supplemental.  Using animation, interactive activities and printable worksheets, Time4Learning builds a foundation in language arts, math, science (1st – 6th grade) and history (2nd – 7th grade.)

This is a comprehensive curriculum.  Additional features include:

  • 1,000+ multimedia lessons
  • State standards-based
  • Independent grade level settings for each subject
  • Access to the grade above and below
  • Time-stamping feature on lessons (for attendance)
  • Online playground which rewards and motivates
  • Automated grading and reporting for portfolio use
  • …and much more!

 

 

 


Lessons are individually paced with the student’s ability, whether gifted, special needs, homeschool, test prep, summer bridge or remedial.  Three grade levels, for each subject, are available at once, enabling the parent to customize the program according to the child’s needs.  Unit assessments/progress reports are sent to a parent account and parents can personally change a child’s grade level, as they see fit.


My children are excited about using this program!  The graphics are engaging and the content, while uncompromisingly educational, is entertaining!  We do monitor the time spent on the playground games, and we have skipped over lesson content that we have found counter to our home teaching:  lessons and activities that speak of gods, goddesses, idols, Halloween, mythical beings and aliens, wizards and witches, and more, according to the relevance to the lesson.  “To each his own,” but if one has an awareness of what is being presented, one can make informed personal choices.

I found this simple to set up and I’ve appreciated the extras available to parents/teachers on the Time4Learning website:

 

A month of access to this program will cost you $19.95 for the first child you enroll and $14.95 for each additional child.  *So much less expensive than paying for tutoring, but presently too expensive for our budget.  I hope to see multiple-children-family-pricing in the future, to make this excellent program affordable to more homeschooling families.

 

 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed!

Still not sure if this is right for your family?  Try a FREE, interactive lesson demoWant 30 days FREE?  Apply to review the  Time 4 Learning program.

Questions or Comments:

Call – 954-771-0914

or

Email – support@Time4Learning.com


Time4Learning.com, facebook page


Blessings,

 

This product was given to me, free of charge, in exchange, for my honest review, as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew. I receive no other compensation for my reviews on this blog.  The opinions expressed are my own.

 

Click graphic to find more Homeschool Crew Reviews.

*Contents and photographs of this blog are copyrighted;  unless otherwise indicated, they are the property of Knee Deep In Grace and may not be used without written permission.

Thank you for your comments!  I appreciate each one of them.  PK

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May
23

All Together

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When I began schooling my children at home, over 25 years ago, there weren’t many, if any, school materials geared toward home use.  Public and private school text books were adapted, by parents/teachers to meet individual needs. We did a lot of that. It took extra time, but it was possible.  We also taught from every-day-living.  We still do a lot of that. A general, life-is-school and school-is-life; there’s-a-lesson-in-every-thing, approach.  I would find a scope and sequence for a specific grade level and then pull-in and organize various resources to build our curriculum each year.  I clearly remember using books published by Houghton Mifflin, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Scott Foresman, Prentice Hall, Macmillan and Evan-Moor.  Eventually, we used Abeka Book and Bob Jones Press, but even those were originally written for private christian school use, and not homeschool.  There was so much busy-seat-work, because they were intended to keep a full classroom of student’s occupied.  Teacher’s editions weren’t available to the individual, either.  Everything had to be studied and done ahead of time, so answer keys could be written.  I am amazed and delighted at how far home education has come in the last 25 years!

Pearson Education is now the “world’s leading educational and professional publisher.”  You may recognize some of their brands:  Scott Foresman, Addison-Wesley, Prentice Hall, Longman, and many others.

 

Click logo to read history

 

Pearson is trusted and respected, drawing on a heritage that stretches back to 1725, when Thomas Longman published the first book, typeset by Benjamin Franklin.  They provide products, programs and services, in every subject, for PreK-20.

 

Click cover for pricing guide

 

I received the Scott Foresman, Social Studies – All Together, 1st Grade text book, for review.  It is high-gloss, hard-bound, with bold, brilliant, color pictures on every page!  It is not written for homeschool use, but it is a great supplement to any social studies curriculum.  Interestingly enough, I was not given a teacher’s edition or any of the additional teaching aids/tools that are available; so, it was just like the good-ole-days.  I had to pay attention to the text, as we read it, so that I, too, could correctly answer the review questions at the end of each unit.  My 6 year old thought it was so funny that I had to do the same work that she had to do!

All-Together teaches students “what it means to be citizens of this nation – that respect, caring, responsibility, fairness, courage, and honesty are the pillars that make us strong.”  In each unit, there are pages dedicated to Citizen Heroes, and on the upper right corner of the page, one of the six pillars is highlighted.  Because of the consistency of the layout, my daughter would go to that area of the page, first, to see which pillar we were about to read.

 

Citizen Heroes

 

The following companies, and others, are partners-in-education with Pearson:

 

 

 

Their contribution is evident in the content and format of the book –

 

Dorling Kindersley

 

 

 

 

 

You open the over-size book to find a full-color Social Studies Handbook.  My young student was drawn-in completely and couldn’t wait to discover what was on the next page and the next page and…

 

 

We did put a home spin on the units.  Most of them had a reference to school or the bus or the cafeteria, etc.  “Your cafeteria is too noisy.  Tell steps you would take to solve the problem.”  We talked about the noise of living in a big family; what noises we liked, which ones we’d rather not hear and how to get more of one and less of the other.  We also discussed what it might feel like to eat lunch with others that you might not know very well.  Everything was adaptable and useful as a teaching element, even if it wasn’t used exactly as the authors expected.  That is the beauty and flexibility of schooling at home, though, isn’t it.

 

 

Unit 1 – Time for School
Unit 2 – In My Community
Unit 3 – Work! Work! Work!
Unit 4 – Our Earth, Our Resources
Unit 5 – This is Our Country

 

 

 

Map and Globe Skills
Biographies
Songs and Poems
Chart and Graph Skills
Vocabulary
Atlas
Picture Glossary
History and more

 

 

 

“…God shed His grace on thee…”

“…one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

“Our country’s motto is ‘In God We Trust.”

 

This was actually the first thing I looked for – does Pearson Education keep God where our Founding Fathers placed Him, over our Nation?  I’m pleased to say that in Social Studies – All Together they certainly do.

 

The student edition of this book is $43.47.  There is also a teacher’s edition, workbook and answer key, planning guide, resource package, readers, map tools, video field trips and more. Please note that some items can only be purchased with PO or school credit card, which is not homeschool friendly.

 

Click graphic for companion site!

 

There is free access to a companion site:  with a Social Studies library (dictionary, encyclopedia, and almanac), Current Events (In the News and Time for Kids), an Atlas (world & U.S. geography, facts and tools); “This Day In History” (attaches a when to a what or who), “Meet the People” (people & biographies), and Activities (by state, grade level/book and unit).  This site is full of information, plus it’s fun and easy to navigate.  Free downloads at Symbols of America, too!

 

 

 

Contact:

phone:  1.800.848.9500

Pearson

K12 Customer Service

P.O. Box 2500

Lebanon, IN  46052

 

My mates at TOS reviewed Social Studies – All Altogether – 1st Grade, enVision Math – 1st Grade; Reading Street – 2nd Grade.  Click the banner below to read all about it!

 

 

Blessings,

 

This product was given to me, free of charge, in exchange, for my honest review, as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew. I receive no other compensation for my reviews on this blog.  The opinions expressed are my own.

Thank you for your comments.  I appreciate YOU!


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